What Size Winch For Car Trailer? – How Much Do You Need?

Car winches come in handy whenever you need to pull something heavy up on a trailer.

If you love to boat, you have to transport it to the river bank. This is a simple example of using a winch to pick it up on a trailer and enjoy some boating in the river.

Winches for car trailers are one of the best in this aspect. So there are ultimate benefits, but before that, you need to have the perfect size winch for a car trailer.

This article provides information about the sizing issue of winches for car trailers.

Capacity Of Winch:

The biggest problem with getting the perfect winch for your car trailer is knowing what size you should buy.

  1. How much stuff can you move?
  2. Are you going to be using it as a manual winch or electric winch?
  3. What weight do you have to pull? Will it be light duty or heavyweight?

Knowing all these issues will give you a good idea about what winch size to buy.  

Three things will tell you how much stuff you can move with your winch:

  • Line Rating
  • Breaking Load
  • Pulling Force

We will discuss each of these points below.

1. Liner Rating:

Source: amazon

 A line rating of a winch indicates the amount of load it can lift at one time. You can choose from 2-line, 3-line, 4-line, 5-line, 6-line, and 8-line winches.

A line rating of a winch indicates the amount of load it can lift at one time. You can choose from 2-line, 3-line, 4-line, 5-line, 6-line, and 8-line winches.

The color of the wire always indicates a line rating on the winch’s cable. This will be yellow or orange in most cases, though sometimes they are blue.

An 8-line winch will give you more lifting power than a 4-line winch. For those who want to haul more than just regular objects, an 8-line winch is your best bet.

However, keep in mind that this comes at a higher price tag.

A 4-line winch is sufficient for normal driving and most heavy lifting jobs. For vehicles like trucks and SUVs, an 8-line winch is recommended.

2. Breaking Load:


The breaking load is its maximum capacity when pulled off of a drum or block and run by hand.

This number is based on a testing procedure that puts tension on the wire rope that goes through the winch and keeps it taut while loaded and unloaded.

It also measures the resistance of the rope itself when under stress.

A break strength test involves having a 10-pound weight hung on the end of the wire rope while pulling it with a ratchet until the breaking point is reached.

If you pull too much force at once, you can get hurt or, even worse, break the rope. The higher the breaking load of a winch, the less chance you can break it when using it.

The higher the breaking load of a winch, the more likely you will get injured if you make a mistake while using it.

So be careful when selecting a winch for yourself.

3. Pulling Force:


A pulling force test involves pulling a wire rope at different angles while measuring the amount of tension applied to the rope at various stages.

This testing method helps measure the force required to start a winch moving and lets you see how far it can be pulled before it breaks.

The greater the pulling force of a winch, the greater the lifting power it has.

Most car owners only need a small amount of pulling force from their winch, but Heavy trucks Bulldozers, Excavators, etc., require more force to start them moving.

In these cases, you should go for a larger-capacity winch that can handle more weight.

Sizing Factors Of Winch For Car Trailer:

1. Tow Rating:


When choosing a winch for your car trailer, it is best to size it based on the vehicle’s tow rating and how heavy your trailer is.

A general rule of thumb is to purchase a smaller winch with a smaller size that matches your vehicle’s tow rating.

If you don’t know your car’s tow rating, take it to a dealership or automotive parts store for assistance.

Be sure to consult your owner’s manual or handbook for additional specifications regarding towing capacities and trailer safety requirements.

2. Length:

Source: rudgeforge

In general, longer cables provide better lifting capacity and reach than shorter ones.

But this depends on how long your trailer is and how high you can raise it.

If you have a short trailer, you may want to opt for a shorter cable length to fit more lines into your car and minimize the number of trips needed to do so.

3. Space Considerations:

Source: automobilenote

Winches come in various sizes and designs, so several considerations come into play when determining which one is best for your needs.

When looking at space limitations, remember that most standard-sized winches have an effective working height of approximately 4 feet and weigh as much as 150 pounds.

These factors make them difficult to install on vehicles without enough room for them.

You may need to buy a different model if you’re running out of space in your vehicle or cannot find the right place to install one.

How Much Do You Need?

It’s also important to remember that not all winches are created equal. Most models only work with light-duty trailers with a minimum recommended tongue weight of 150 pounds.

As a result, if you plan on using your winch to pull larger vehicles, you will likely need to invest in a heavier model that has more strength and will handle heavier loads.


Winch installations vary widely based on personal preference and available space. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the location of your winch.

And the amount of weight you want to move, you may find it easier to get by with a shorter cable or even no cable at all.

Remember that every person has different needs and must use caution when deciding which type and size of winch are best for their particular situation.

A proper installation will help ensure the safety of everyone involved and prevent injuries. So be careful and consider these factors to have a perfect winch in your car trailer.